Welcome to our first Meet A Mom interview! We love celebrating local moms and this one happens to be one our personal favorites, Evan Elizabeth Schoolnik Berger!
Evan is the owner of Taste Santa Barbara Food Tours
Hello Evan, so excited to have you here and so happy to interview you. Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Santa Barbara? What made you decide to live here?
Hi. I grew up in Pacific Palisades, CA and my mom moved to Santa Barbara when I was 10. So I spent most of my weekends and vacations in SB. I went to Emerson College in Boston then moved to Austin, TX. I moved back to Santa Barbara about 10 years ago. I moved back because I was ready to live closer to my family and didn’t want to live in Los Angeles, plus SB is gorgeous!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I own and operate a walking food and drink tour called Taste Santa Barbara Food Tours. The tours takes place in downtown SB – on and off State Street. You eat, drink, learn about SB and have all the fun! We offer tours pretty much every day and we also love creating personal experiences for our guests! We are all about supporting local SB.
What a fabulous idea, perfect for all the Santa Barbara tourism. How did you come up with that?
Good question. Years ago, my mom was living in Catalina Island and she told me that my cousin was starting a business, she didn’t know what it was, but she felt like it would be something I would be into. Later we found out it was a walking food and drink tour. My mom and cousins all agreed I should start a tour because I love people, food and Santa Barbara – but it wasn’t the right time. A few months later, I looked at my roommate and best friend and said, “We should start a walking food and drink tour!” She said explain, so I did – and she said, “YOU should start one.” So, I got my scheisse together and went to Chicago to take a course on how to put a food tour together. I then came back to SB and started doing “research” eating and drinking and learning more about SM. And the rest is kind of history.
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
Penelope Grace is almost 3 and I am pregnant with another baby girl due in December 2019!
Congratulations! That is really exciting. Santa Barbara is such an amazing place to raise children in. What’s your favorite family activity in Santa Barbara?
There are so many things we like to do. We find ourselves spending a lot of time at the zoo, the sea center, La Mesa Park and lately we have been all about the bowling – that’s right, we bowl…ahhh AC. We also dig The Oak Park pool and any pool we can get our bodies into – Penelope is a total water baby, so pretty much anything having to do with the water, she wants to do.
Hard to ask an expert like you, but where is your favorite place to eat in Santa Barbara? Shop?
Not fair – there is no way, I can’t name just one eating place! I love so many! Kid friendly places that we dig are Creekside, Mesa Burger, Public Market and pretty much anywhere that you can go up to a counter and order – at this age, we are all about ordering efficiency.
Shopping for me, I love Lovebird and Dylan Star and for Penelope these days, we love Chicken Little and Peanuts. I am happy to finally have a Target – even if the current one is small AF.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I love to workout and I do it on the regular. Confession, I don’t always love it when it is happening, but I love how I feel when it’s done, so I try to either do Bond Fitness and/or Pilates and/or walk everyday. It helps keep me calm, helps keep the ADD in check and the anxiety downish.
How do you balance work/ mom life?
I have no idea, we somehow make it work. My business was my first baby, when Penelope came along, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of tour guides who were able to lead and I was leading tours again about 4-6 weeks after she was born. We focused on keep the business going and once my brain (sort of came back) I was able to do more to grow the tours. Now, I have an awesome team of three amazing women and myself and they really help me keep things going! I am so grateful.
Best advice given as a parent?
If someone offers help, do not feel guilty taking it and try to enjoy every single second especially when they are babies. They want to be held, hold them, the laundry can be folded later (I am still fighting myself about this).
Find your tribe. Meet your people and hold on tight. They make life more fun and make you feel a little less crazy.
What are a few of the most recent things you’ve pinned on Pinterest and/or who do you follow on Instagram?
I always forget about Pinterest – but I mostly pin fun birthday cake ideas, nail art and food things. Some of my fave moms people to follow on IG are: @ScaryMommy and @IndieBirth!
Oh, we love Scary Mommy! Our parent company the Local Moms Network just interviewed her- Be sure to check out the interview on our blog. Next Question- Is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I want to thank my girls – they know who they are and they have made this mom life a lot more fun and manageable!
I also need to thank my mom, mother in law and husband for being awesome!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Honestly, for this one, I have to thank my local partners that I work with on the food tours for doing this with me. Without them, I wouldn’t have a business. I LOVE hosting locals and visitors to some of my favorite places in Santa Barbara. It is an honor to be able to run a business I love and work with partners that I love.
OOOH and a little more shameless self promotion! I just found out that we were nominated for Independent’s Best of Santa Barbara Readers’ Poll for best tour company – so don’t forget to vote for us Starting Wednesday July 31 – Wednesday August 28th “Taste Santa Barbara Food Tours” Woot Woot!
We will vote for you for sure! Thank you so much Evan! It’s so wonderful to be able to introduce you to the community and for us to get to know to you even better. You are a delight and your personality is contagious!
And don’t forget to Vote Taste Santa Barbara Food for best tour company (under the “Out and About” section)